A Virginia woman went so far in trying to create a new identity for herself that she burnt her fingerprints off and created a fake birth certificate.
Ann Marie Miller, now in an Ohio jail, said she wanted a new identity so she could attend law school and gain admission to the state bar; Miller had been disbarred by the commonwealth of Virginia previously. She acquired a Maine birth certificate to obtain Ohio identification which led to her arrest.
Miller was identified by Ohio investigators after they contacted authorities in Maine and Virginia in order to verify her identity. Investigators discovered Miller’s true identity and searched her computer. They found she had performed online research on how to disappear and form a new identity without being caught.
She received a new birth certificate in Maine under the pseudonym Julia Bay Wadsworth from the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Miller chose the state of Maine because of the easier process of applying for a delayed birth certificate there.
Charges are pending for Miller in several states including Maine, Ohio, and Colorado. A spokesperson for the Maine Department of Health and Human Services said they are looking into how Miller had received a birth certificate. The spokesperson refused to comment further, stating they would have to look into the matter closer before discussing possible prosecution. Miller is facing tampering charges in Ohio, as well as obstruction of justice. During her time in Ohio, she had obtained both welfare and medical services. Because of this she is facing forgery charges as well.
She is wanted in Colorado for several charges including burglary, criminal mischief, trespassing, felony marijuana cultivation, assault, and tampering.
When law enforcement searched Miller’s computer, they also found she had researched how to obscure fingerprints. She sought a blueprint of how to destroy her fingertips and the healing process afterwards. When caught, she told authorities that she was born in Maine but no information was found. It was discovered her true birth place was in the state of California.
Authorities refused to say how Miller burned her fingertips to make her fingerprints unintelligible. They did say there were chemicals used over a several month period. It was not disclosed if her attempts were successful.
She admitted to concealing her identity because she didn’t want to go to jail and that she wanted a second chance to practice law. Miller thought this entire process was a clever way to reinvent herself.
Miller was disbarred from the Virginia State Bar in 2009 after earning a law degree from the Appalachian School of Law in Virginia. She then began practicing law in the state in 2007. Two years later, the disbarment came about following an inability to refund fees and several mishandlings of bankruptcy cases.
She will first face a hearing in Ohio and then will be tried in Colorado. If authorities decide to press charges, she may be tried in Maine. When asked about Miller’s mental capacity, her court appointed therapist said she was mentally stable.